Your favourite F1 drivers & teams: November 2011

2011 F1 season

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Jenson Button leads the popularity contest

One of my favourite new features on the site is the ability for F1 Fanatic to pick which drivers and teams they support.

With that in mind, I’ve had a look who you’ve picked so far and compiled this look at the most popular drivers and teams on F1 Fanatic right now.

Keep in mind these figures are not set in stone – they will change as more people join in on the site and others shift their allegiances between drivers and teams.


Which drivers F1 Fanatic readers are supporting - November 2011
  • Jenson Button is the most popular driver among F1 Fanatic readers right now. Around one in eight F1 Fanatics (12.4%) who’ve used the site since the new version was launched picked him as a driver they’re supporting.
  • Kamui Kobayashi’s third place in the list underlines his reputation as a fan favourite.
  • Robert Kubica may not have raced this year but he’s far from forgotten and well inside the top ten.
  • Despite only having entered F1 mid-season, Daniel Ricciardo already had more than 50 fans
  • Some people picked only one driver, others picked as many as ten or more
  • To find out how many people support each driver, type their name into the search box and select results for members


Which teams F1 Fanatic readers are supporting - November 2011
  • McLaren are way out in front – Having the two most popular drivers probably helps!
  • Support is spread quite evenly among the remaining teams, with Lotus a surprise third. Will they still be as popular when they become Caterham?
  • HRT and Virgin have failed to win many fans here so far.
  • To find out how many people support each team, type their name into the search box and select results for members

What year you started watching F1

Number of F1 Fanatics who started watching in this year40021021011203543521634113126671287413232414201934273522553549415345441620232530296034292712

Most of us started watching F1 in the last 20 years.

But there’s plenty of F1 Fanatics whose memories stretch back far further – some even as far as the first years of the world championship.

Over to you

This is a snapshot of which drivers and teams are the most popular at the moment – but how will it look in a few months’ time? We’ll take another look at who’s earning your support again in the future.

You can change your selections at any time. Just log in and go to go to My Account > Profile > Edit > F1 teams and drivers.

Are you in the majority or minority when it comes to which drivers and teams you support? Have you changed your allegiance recently? Have your say in the comments.

2011 F1 season

Browse all 2011 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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165 comments on “Your favourite F1 drivers & teams: November 2011”

  1. Kobayashi-San 3rd favourite?

    I compliment my fellow F1Fanatics on their truly excellent taste in drivers.

    1. @magnificent-geoffrey Thought you might have something to say about that ;) Pleasantly surprised to see them doing so well in the team ranking as well.

    2. I am one of those who picked Kobayashi, Perez and Sauber :P

      1. You can’t not like them can you?

  2. wow, Mclaren in general is owning!

    1. At first I was suprised, but I think this might have a lot to do with R-Den leaving. Macca fans where not in a lot of company back then, all the brits supported Williams. The teams new found tendancy to be very silly and find new and interesting ways to shoot itself in the foot is sort of endearing.

      Still, we’ve also got Button now, everyone likes him, it’s literally impossible not to. He doesn’t crash into anyone, his victories tend to be a bit special and he’s just so nice.

      1. I think its what you say @scribe, with Ron leaving but just as much Williams (the other truely British team) falling from favour for producing duds of a car in recent years.

        And another factor will be having 2 popular drivers, and even more so because up to now McLaren have really let the 2 of them race it out on track, as they promised. Something not every team can say of itself!

      2. Despite liking Button, I didn’t pick him as I didn’t pick Vettel: I like them but they’re one level below the others. But they are ahead of the other drivers such as poor Narain.

    2. that massive rise in 2007 is due to one man: lewis hamilton.

    3. Mclaren and their drivers are so popular because most of F1Fanatic readers are brits!

      1. Archimedas (@)
        5th November 2011, 17:39

        agree, but what do you think about our nation? Which team is favorite here in Lithuania? Ferrari, I think.

        1. Maybe it is Ferrari, but recently Red Bull is getting more and more popular among fans in Lithuania.

    4. Will be interesting to see how this changes. Every week depends on who does better JB or Lewis.

  3. I knew McLaren were popular but WOW!

    1. It was kind of obvious even without the charts. Jenson has been the golden boy of this site for the last couple of seasons, followed by Lewis.

      1. Well, even with the data you can’t know that.

        I have Button in my favorites, But he’s not my “favorite”. Perhaps it’s because he is very likeable? (Similar to Kamui?)

  4. i find it a little funny that the same number of people who like Kovaleinen, like vettel

    1. I voted for both of them

    2. Heikki’s time at lotus has done wonders fore how popularity and reputation alike. He is seen as calm, unfazed but fast, maybe not elite but he seems Luke he is committed to lotus and is really enjoying his time there. If this was done when he was at Mclaren I believe his popularity would actually be worse, he was underpetforming the car and getting trounced by his team mate.

      1. Wow, so many spelling mistakes. Damn phone.

      2. No harm to Heikki but I think the difference between him being trounced by his team mate at McLaren and not at Lotus is who his team mate was on both occasions.

      3. I think Pirelli suits Kova’s driving style better than Bridgestone. Hamilton clearly struggles with Pirelli tyres, but both Button and Kova are OK with Pirelli because their driving style is smoother than Hamilton’s.

        1. Hamilton clearly struggles with Pirelli tyres

          Then why was he performing so well earlier in the season?

    3. i think the main reason that vettel is not very likeable is because of his boring wins….of course he does a pretty good job in getting a pole and win but its not comparable to what jenson did in canada for example

      1. most people were his fans, including meself, after his monza win in a toro rosso and the world title last year, but grown out tired of his runaway wins and his “finger” gesture, it’s become very annoying now..

      2. They aren’t comparable, since Jenson only does it occasionally, while Vettel does it almost every week.

  5. I do have a little bit of confusion? Given the fact I started watching F1 since 2000 but I was never regular in it & used to miss many races but since 2003 I am still to miss a race live but one (2005 UK),so should put the date on when I started watching it or from when I am a fan of it?

    1. @wasiF1 I would put the year you started watching it. I started in 2009 but missed most of the back end of the season. Clearly you must have some slight interest to start watching it. I don’t think anyone could call themselves a hardcore fan straight away.

      1. @andrewtanner I remember watching the 2007 Brazilian GP and I have vague memories of 2008, surely I saw Brazil, maybe Malaysia, Japan and others. From 2009 I saw every race (apart from 2010 Germany & Hungary) so I put 2009.

    2. I’ve been a bit unsure on how to put myself down for that one as well. I’ve got myself down for 2007, as it asks “When did you start following F1?”. Which I’m taking as reading F1 news, trying to watch all the races etc.

      Though I probably started watching F1 when I was 5-6 (2000-2001)

    3. I started in 2002, I remember the first lap of my F1-watching career (as do most people, Australia 2002 lap 1)

      Of course, this also means I’ve seen all of Webber’s races, all of Massa’s, I remember Kartikeyan’s first season. I was even in the Toyota UK HQ when Ralf Schumacher crashed into the barrier heavily at Monaco. I remember both of Ralf’s US crashes,and some other brilliant moments..

      However, I missed MSC winning on a 4-stop strategy in France, and I’ve regretted that one!

      1. @KeeleyObsessed Take me on board when you watch that race in France.

    4. I didn’t answer that question in my profile because the answer for me is complicated.

      I was aware of Formula 1 as a young child (mid 1980s); I knew most of the drivers names and the teams and such from following F1 news in the papers.

      My earliest memory of an F1 race watched live was Michael Andretti colliding with Gerhard Berger at the start of the 1993 Brazilian Grand Prix. As an American who loved road racing, I grew up watching IndyCar/Champ Car, and had been a fan of both Mario and Michael in my formative years, and when Michael signed with McLaren I determined that I would watch as many races as I could.

      I watched F1 continuously until about mid-2001 when I’d grown tired of the dominance of Michael Schumacher and Ferrari. I’d liked Michael for a bit early on, but I stopped supporting him in the middle of 1994, and to this day I still believe he took out Damon Hill on purpose in Adelaide.

      I still peeked in on Formula 1 occasionally over the years, but not nearly with the same level of interest. It wasn’t until toward the end of 2008 that I started watching it in the newspapers again. In 2009 I watched about half of the races on TV, and from the first race of 2010 I’ve started watching every race live as best as I can, but it’s extremely difficult for me- staying up late is far easier for me than getting up early, and waking up regularly at 4 o’clock in the morning and trying to stay awake for two and a half hours is a right pain in the you-know-where.

  6. Turns out I am in quite the minority with my support. Oh well, all the better for discussion.

    I honestly thought Force India had won over more fans than that. I am still perplexed by the general dislike for Adrian Sutil as well.

    I am still relatively new to F1 which I believe explains my lack of connection to the historically evidently and popular Williams. I respect their history but have only witnessed them as a team struggling for results and direction.

    1. I used to think Sutil was the talented but the most boring man in F1 until recently actually heard a couple of interviews and he was really witty in them and not at all I imagined him.

      Not to get on the wrong side of the many Di Resta fans but I think rather like Webber, Sutil’s problems adjusting to the new pirelli tyres made his team mate look a bit better than would be usual.

      As for Force India, I don’t like Vjay much.

  7. I started watching in 2002 which seems to be around the time people weren’t becoming interested in F1! I started watching F1 because it was alternative and I was a bit of a hipster at the age of 8, obviously.

    And I’m surprised to see Webber has more fans than Vettel! That can’t be right, can it?

    1. I’m surprised Webber’s not in the top 3, he is a very likeable driver, always give honest opinions and just seems like a stand up bloke. Vettel is a bit like Schumacher of old, difficult to warm to despite his undoubted brilliance.

      1. Schumacher didn’t want anything to do with the media in his first career.
        Vettel is the complete opposite of that.

        I think what makes people begrudge Vettel is the fact that Red Bull favor him over Webber. And now he’s also dominating the season like Schumacher did, that doesn’t help to get people to like you either.

        In terms of being open and honest to the press, Vettel is probably one of the best drivers on the grid. Maybe the best even.
        The BBC guys have pointed out numerous times how much and how long Vettel talks to the press, whether that’s UK press, German press or whatever.

        1. I’m not disputing that, he does have a lot of time for interviewers but it still doesn’t make me like the man any more. British people tend to like an underdog and Webber is definitely that in comparison to Vettel. We also like straight talkers which is another plus for Webber.

          I have to say I don’t really know why I dislike Vettel, sure he’s running away with the championship but I didn’t feel the same way when Button was winning easily at the start of 2009. I don’t like the stupid finger thing he does; I also think he’s quite arrogant and not quite as good as his current record in F1 suggests. Guess I’d just like a bit of competition for him really.

          1. Oh well we are British,and all our family have been listening (radio!!) & watching F1 since 1971.
            2 of us fanatically support Michael Schumacher,always have for 20years,one of us supports Alonso,and one Button with a bit of a liking for Webber.
            The 2 x MS supporters move teams with Michael Schumacher,although we always support Williams for GB,since 1971.One of us couldn’t forget Ferrari,so they are a firm favourite too.
            Out of all the drivers we have watched Schumi has been the best of them all to us through 40 years of following F1.He has the whole package such as endurance,technique,style,class & true grit and the killer instinct that many lack now.Senna was a favourite too,as was Mansell & Hill.

    2. Worldwide, Vettel probably has more fans.

      This being a UK site however I’m not surprised there are more Webber supporters here.

      The fact that Button is getting so many DotW votes for not doing anything spectacular at certain events whereas Vettel needs to dominate Schumi style to be even considered DotW says it all, doesn’t it.

      1. The suffix can be very misleading. Just saying.

        1. True, but the fact that some of the biggest spikes happened in the years where a UK driver was in contention for the title (’94, ’96 and off course the biggest spike ’07) are big pointers towards the probability that most readers here are from the UK.

          1. Archimedas (@)
            5th November 2011, 17:45

            Would be quite interesting statistic, to see how much fanatics come from which countries.

        2. I know Keith is unbaised etc. I am from Malaysia. But quite frankly, the first impression people get upon landing on a suffixed website is that it’s a UK/British site.

          If ever Keith wants to dispel this doubt, he’s got to switch to .com but that’s not gonna be easy at all as F1Fanatic will most probably lose it’s first page ranking on Google.

    3. I started watching it around about that time as well. I was around the same age too. A different reason for watching it though. My brother’s a casual fan and of course I was annoyed at him for hogging the TV remote but by the second Sunday in succession I was hooked!

      I wasn’t surprised at all about the Webber having more fans. The British public seem to like him more for some reason. I’m sure that overall Vettel has more fans. I’m definitely a Vettel fan!

  8. Good idea and good article!

    I am surprised by a few things…

    1) JB leading and leading so well. I would have expected most to support LH.

    2) HRT only have the same amount of fans as Virgin? I honestly thought more people warmed to HRT, especially this season.

    3) Lotus?! Nice.

    I have no particular allegiance but this is great nonetheless.

    1. will they still be as popular when they become west ham caterham? doubt it

  9. Wow! There are 60/70 year old people on F1F? I’d imagine those watching F1 since 1950 would be as old…

    Keith; just wondering. How many people support a different driver and team? For example I’m actually a McLaren supporter; though I support Vettel. I’m the minority, I know; but I’m just curious.

    1. What’s your point there Sonny? LOL. I honestly don’t know when I started watching (ABC’s Wide World of Sports) F1, but I was a fan in ’68. FWIW my mom’s nickname for me was “Fireball Roberts”… How many remember that guy?

      1. Huh? I have no point. It was a remark of simple amusement. I didn’t realize there were people who fell into that category on F1Fanatic. If you started watching in the 1950 season; that was 61 years ago; you’d have to be at least 62. Probably something like 64 to really understand what was going on or even understand that you were watching fast things go zoom zoom

        1. Sorry, meant it as a joke! I was amused by your remark, for me the internet has been a boon in knowledge and things that go fast have always had my undivided attention, F1 being high on the list. According to those who know, I’m not one of them, I was always looking at cars and planes from day 1.
          Again, just chuckling at your amusement. Sadly I am indeed above 60…

          1. Where I come from; you won’t find anyone above 60 who uses the internet; lol

        2. Well I was born in the last month of 1951.

          I’m not sure when I actually started watching F1, probably some time in the late 1960s, and just the races which made it to US TV. I definitely remember watching Jackie Stewart racing. And I also followed it in print (Road and Track) earlier than that.

          But I put down 1974 since that was the beginning of a run of actually attending the USGP at the Glen.

  10. As an Alonso fan, I’m pleased to see him so high on the list. Sometimes it’s easy to get carried away with the notion that he’s one of the sport least liked characters but this shows he has a decent following.

    1. I like him as a driver, and I think this year we’ve seen more of the man himself. I loved that card trick feature he did with Lee in Germany. He really came across well and it was good to see the fun side of the man that normally isn’t so enthusiastic with the media.

    2. If I was to be pressed really hard, I would probably say Alonso is the best driver on the grid at the moment. But I have to say I don’t like his attitude, and I think that will be bad for Ferrari, because until he can partner a driver who can apply pressure to him and even beat him in the same car I don’t think Ferrari can win the WCC.

    3. I wouldn’t say I’m a fan, but I like him. It’s pretty difficult though as my dad hates his guts, I have to do a silent cheer when he beats Hamilton :D

      1. You sound just like a George that I used to teach!!

  11. I like the diagram that shows in what year people started watching. Not many people started watching in the Schumi-age, but many people did start watching when Hamilton made his debut in 2007 and almost won the title. Also lots of spikes in Senna-age and when Damon Hill won his title.

    1. @andae23 There is a big spike in 1994 when Schumi won his first title… but hardly any when he won his titles with Ferrari. I imagine the figures for new viewers would look fairly similar in the future if Hamilton were to now win 5 in a row compared with when he nearly won in 07 and his title win in 08.

  12. Would be interesting to see what spread of users by Country, using their IP as the identifier. That would give us a better idea as to how well this represents the global fan base.

    I’m sure the majority of Alonso’s fans are Spanish, and thus dont visit an English language site.

    1. I was just going to suggest that. I am sure it would show that this is a UK dominated site, not thatmther is anything wrong with that.

  13. I’m not really surprised to see Jenson leading, although I thought there would be more Hamilton fans. He’s a great guy, always funny when interviewed and he seems to be getting better and better as a driver.

    I really can’t see how you couldn’t like him, actually. He’s just a fantastic and genuinely easy-going character.

  14. The only 3 British drivers are in the top 4. You would never guess it was a British website!

    1. Interesting statistics! It would be nice to see some kind of all-time favorite list too… although I did choose some of the current drivers as “favorites”, my actual No. 1 driver isn’t among them since he’s no longer active. I’m curious what a list that included drivers from all eras of F1 would look like, and how many current drivers would be on it.

    2. Oops sorry, didn’t mean to reply to you…

    3. @snowman

      The only 3 British drivers are in the top 4. You would never guess it was a British website!

      Well, although this is an interesting article, I must agree with snowman’s comment a little. I think Button (being my personal favorite) is well deserved to be in the top 2-3 and would be a close statistic that would be considered world wide (in the top 3-4 for sure), not only for his good driving, but his personality, honesty and respect to other drivers (I would put him in #1 also). But I seriously doubt McLaren would be the most favorite team in the World. That would probably be Ferrari due to its history and time in F1 and simply the world wide popularity they have. Hamilton (also a driver I follow) – I seriously doubt he would be anywhere in the top 3 as he is well hated by many World wide (ask the Brazilians and the Spanish) due to his colorful and ( I must say) blatantly obvious “forged” personality (fake). Meaning a person who says one thing but thinks completely another. HOWEVER, in saying that, without a question he is a great solid driver (no, not Senna legend and never will be, and not even any legend at this stage, yet) but I will never make other things (he says or does) overshadow my support for him.

      Also I think Sebastian Vettel is currently not well supported because some people might be getting sick of him winning all the time. But I am sorry to say he “is” the best driver of this season, he also has some fake personality issues though, and I think the year when he stops winning so frequently will be the time we really determine if he is the happy and friendly character he always appears to be

    4. This isn’t a British website. I should know, I run it.

  15. As one of 36 Timo Glock fans I feel our tastefull little group of slightly obscure German connoisseurs might be letting the little chap down, need to make a bit more noise. The man is absolutley wasted at Virgin.

    1. Hear hear that man Scribe!!

    2. So true! He deserves much more.

  16. I Hate Hamilton
    5th November 2011, 12:46

    No Wonder,mclaren is at top,the website & the Owner being British.
    I Like Jenson Button Though,One of the nicest driver i’ve ever seen.
    not sure sauber is better than force india!!!

  17. Why the heck is Paul Di Resta so high up? He is such a bland, stale, emotionless imp! I don’t care if his is British, lol. I simply can’t stand him! Webber, Button, Hamilton and Algushuari all the way :) and Kobayashi of course haha :)

    1. I agree with that one. The BBC is partly to blaim as well, praising him for mediocre results…

      1. Yeah, what the hell is that about.

        They also keep going on and on about him beating Vettel in 2006 (so easy when nobody has seen HOW that year went down) but he can’t even outscore Sutil, who’s not exactly a triple WDC and couldn’t hold a candle to Hamilton when they were teammates in GP2.

        From what I’ve seen Di Resta so far isn’t impressive.
        He’s had a few strong races and He’s the top scoring rookie, that’s all.
        Hamilton beat a double WDC in his rookie season and Vettel scored more points than the 3 other Red Bulls on the grid combined in his first full season. THAT was impressive.

        I have no problem with fans supporting him however. He seems like a nice bloke to me.

        1. Your not the only one tired of hearing them go on about Di Resta beating Vettel in F3.

          Sure Brundle nearly beat Senna in F3 but he didn’t win a race in F1.

          Think the main problem is, Di Resta is not only British but Scottish and what’s the nationality of Coulthard?? Imagine how bad it would be if Di Resta was driving a Red Bull with DC commentating!

    2. Artefact of the way the profiles are set up to allow for as many driver/team choices as you want. If people were limited to 2 drivers I imagine Di Resta’s support would collapse.

  18. Nice stats, but what about people like me, who don’t support anyone in particular? Should there be an option for that as well?

    1. I think the option is either to not put any teams and drivers in your profile, or support the majority, but for a few you really do not like.

  19. I have two clear favorite drivers and one close third-place driver, several more drivers I like quite a bit, several more I’m fairly neutral about, and just a couple who annoy me from time to time but I still don’t loathe or anything. It was kind of hard to decide how to translate this into an answer to the question “Which F1 drivers do you support?” but in the end I answered only those top two.

    I guess I’m mentioning it because if people are surprised that this or that thoroughly likable driver didn’t get more votes, it might have been because, depending on the criteria various people used, they only just barely didn’t make the “cut.”

  20. I’d be interested to see a close look at that ‘started watching in…’ graph.

    For example, there was a big spike a few years ago. When was that – when Hamilton made his debut? Who do most of the people who joined then support? Which countries are they from?

    Also, assuming we are a predominantly British readership, I wonder whether there’s any link that can be made between changes in broadcaster (or commentary team) and the number of people who started watching (and turned into lifelong fans).

  21. I’m actually surprised at just how far ahead McLaren are on this site, I thought Ferrari would be closer. I’m dissapointed to see Williams so low down as well, I guess people who started watching F1 in the late 2000s don’t feel the same attatchment to the team as those of us who started watching in the mid/late 90s.

    1. I used to like Williams a lot, but that love did fall a lot during their BMW spell with Ralf and Heidi. I did like them better with Webber and Rosberg, but their form has been that dissapointing since then, its hard to feel good about them now.

      1. Well said, Williams have made so many difficult to understand choices over the last 10 years that it has been hard to follow them favourably for me.

        1. @ads21 You are exactly right about the lack of attachment. I am relatively new to F1, started following in 2008 and although I recognise and admire their history, not witnessing it myself detaches it from me.

          From what I’ve actually watched, I only see Williams as a team on the fall, a teams that lacks direction. I feel no connection to them and although I would hate for them to leave F1, I have no desire for them to climb higher.

    2. I used to like them, but lost respect for them when they got rid of Hill for Frentzen. Jeez, that was a while back.

    3. There are an awful lot of British fans who never really forgave them for dumping Hill.

      I’m not quite sure why it was, looking back, but British motorsport fans loved Hill in a way that we haven’t warmed to any other driver since. This may have partly been Murray Walker’s fault.

  22. There can obviously be a million reasons why each of us feel close to some particular driver and / or team. Here are mine.

    My favourite drivers are Heikki Kovalainen, Paul di Resta and Daniel Ricciardo. Heikki is the best of the best and my number one since Australia 2008 but I have some feelings for Daniel and Paul, too. Hopefully Heikki isn’t now jealous :D

    Heikki is a very likeable guy, very nice, I like his attitude, his philosophy, his voice, his tweets, him being Finnish, basically everything about him. It doesn’t surprise me that he’s much higher in the F1F support rankings than he currently is in F1 championship standings.

    Paul is intelligent, calm and professional, I’ve been watching him closely since 2009 when he was competing in DTM. And it’s a big thing to change from touring cars to F1 and then immediately do a very decent job in the latter. I have a huge respect for him.

    Daniel? Well, I always like people who are handsome and smile a lot :) That said, I also think he’s a big talent and very determined, the bright smile might sometimes be misleading.

    My favourite teams are Lotus and Force India. I like Mike Gascoyne and also Tony Fernandes even if I think that Tony is more of a businessman than a true racing fan. I like the Malaysian side of the team, one of my all-time favourites Alex Yoong is also involved there. I believe the name change won’t affect their popularity much as they have a superb marketing approach that always keeps the team in the spotlight, mostly for positive reasons.

    I think Force India’s driver policy is excellent, I like VJM and the touch of the Indian spirit. In my opinion, VJM has done a tremendous job by bringing the team from the very back of the grid to the front of midfield.

    Maybe the reasons why I support my favourite drivers / teams are more emotional than practical. But passion is what F1 is about.

  23. Unbelievably Force India Is Below Sauber….What A Joke!!!Mr.VJM Has Buit A Team Who Were Nothing At The Start To A Strong Team Who Occasionally Manages TO Beat Mercedes Which Has Thrice The Budget Of Force India.How Is This Evaluation Done?
    It Seems Only British People Have Voted……..

    1. Sauber have had a much richer history and a much more likeable management. Force India are Indian in name alone and have projected themselves as an ‘Indian’ racing team when they have Indian drivers, no base in India, no Indian mechanics, no Indian engine etc. The only thing Indian about the team is their owner and their investors.

      Maybe Sauber are more popular because they have a much stronger racing pedigree and don’t pretend to be something they’re not?

      1. Well said.

        I am proud to say that Sauber is the only team that I have supported in every race since I first watched F1, which coincidentally is effectively the same length of time they have been competing in it.

        1. @xxiinophobia Really? That’s pretty cool.

          I’ve been watching F1 all my life, which has been about the same length of time. Apart from childhood favourites like Hill and Coulthard, I’ve always been a neutral who didn’t have any allegiance to a particular team. But when BMW sold back to Sauber, and especially when they signed Kobayashi, I thought it was great that this plucky privateer team (well, in its original guise at least) had returned to Formula 1.

          They aren’t in the sport to sell cars or promote a brand, they’re in it to race. They’ve got a great history, exciting young drivers and in Sauber and Kaltenborn, really likeable management. I decided I quite liked the team this year so I decided to do something I’ve never done before and decide to adopt a team to support. I hope they make progress over the next few years, it’d be great to see.

    2. Why would British people necessarily vote for a Swiss team over an Indian team? Force Indian, you’re being a bit paranoid, I feel!

      It’s as @magnificent-geoffrey suggests – racing pedigree from a country which only unbanned motorsport about 5 years ago. And Peter Sauber – what a bloke.

      1. Common Guys What has that got to do with Countries Racing Pedigree.Infact i would say opposite,in a country where people hardly know and understand F1,Force India is Doing a massive job beating likes of sauber,williams who you say have got a lots of racing history.So am i wrong if i feel proud about it?

        1. But my point is Force India aren’t really Indian. They are based in the UK, have British and German drivers, use German made engines and have no Indian personnel aside from the team’s owner. For an ‘Indian’ team, they are not very ‘Indian’. That’s why I think they aren’t as popular a team like Sauber who are much more ‘genuine’ in that respect.

          1. Not to mention the Sauber CEO is indian

  24. Take these results and adjust them out like a poll. I would guess that the overwhelming number of readers are from Britain (just a wild guess), adjusting the results so the other countries on the forum have the same weight and see what the results look like would be interesting I’d think. More representative to the ‘world’ view of F1 instead of single country centric.

  25. Considering Keith has stated this site isn’t made up of mostly UK fans it’s surprising to see Jenson, Lewis and McLaren as the best supported.

    I actually think Button has done a lot toward repairing McLaren’s damaged reputation after 2007. People can see he’s an honest driver, doesn’t give up and always has time for people. Probably the best World Champion F1 has had for a long time (i don’t mean driver skill).

    1. He said there are as many international readers than there are readers from the UK. All that means is that UK accounts for as much as the rest of the world combined.

      UK viewers, compared to any other single country, are by far the majority.

    2. I disagree. Hamilton’s the main reason McLaren’s are still fighting at the front in F1. His arrival attracted hordes of new fans and his 08 title win did much to ameliorate the damage to McLaren’s reputation. If he’d jumped ship after 07, which he could have easily have done, McLaren could’ve easily have gone into a decline that would see them where Williams are now. McLaren without Hamilton would be seen as perennial also-rans, probably lost major sponsors – Santander for sure and probably Vodafone as well – and be in a tight financial bind given their road car project.

      1. i cant agree with that, mclaren’s speed is down much much more than one driver. despite his talent.

        1. We’re talking about popularity and Hamilton’s sensational rookie season and 08 title win has brought a huge increase in popularity to F1 and McLaren. Kovalainen didn’t and Button – who’s career had been written off by most pundits – wouldn’t have come close in any of those championships and generated the subsequent attention.To which the irony of Hamilton’s popularity being a major factor in the BBC regaining F1 coverage has obviously been lost on their commentary team.

    3. I think Keith did an analysis on this previously and found that while over half of the readership is non-British (I think it was something like 65%), UK residents make up the largest single contingent at 30-something percent.

      Plus plenty of non-Brits like Jenson, Lewis, and McLaren as well.

      1. Do you really think that most part of spaniards, brazilians, italians, germans…would have chosen Mclaren as their favourite team? or Button as their favourite driver? this is a british site, there are readers from other nationalities, but this is a british site… I can´t believe that this fact doesn´t mean anything. Imagine that we are in an italian site, with readers from different countries, but an italian site after all. who do you think that would have been chosen as favourite driver? and favourite team?.
        I’m not british, but I have got, it could be said, a “certain affinity” with british people. Although I support Alonso, I’m in this site because of “the affinity”.

  26. @Keithcollantine maybe you could change it so you can select one driver over the others. I bet even if you like 10 drivers, there’s one which stands out from the rest.

    That’d be a bit more interesting to see… for example, I like almost every single driver (all but Sutil, Trulli and some others), but not all are my favourite drivers, so I selected only one: Mark Webber.

  27. Don’t forget, there will awlays be the “bandwagon jumpers” incuded in these polls. It would be good to keep this as a record and ask the question each year to see how the numbers fluctuate.

    I seem to remember in 2008, Button was pretty much forgotten and Hamilton the man, then it switched in 2009.

    1. I remember being a fan of Button from when he first started but after his cars kept getting worse and worse as his career moved on. I gave up hope at the end of 2008. I felt so guilty and phoney supporting him in the Brawn even though I know I shouldn’t really.

      1. Heh, I too remember being very interested in him when he entered the sport, but that faded and I sort of lost sight of him. Of course, 2009 put him back in the view, and he has been increasingly impressive since.

      2. Ha ha, after 9 years of waiting I was absolutely delighted when he started winning in that Brawn! No guilt whatsoever! :)

        1. :-) your patience and loyalty payed off!

  28. I hadn’t seen this feature before so I filled out mine. Wow, when working out when I started watching I realised I remember Mansell Driving for Ferrari when I was 3/4 years old making F1 among my oldest memories!

  29. Wow, Button is ahead of Hamilton. I honestly did not see that coming – I expected it to be the other way around – much less that he would have a lead of almost a hundred votes.

    I suppose his popularity comes from a) keeping his cool this year, and b) producing some brilliant drives, like Canada.

    1. @Detained-Apes Interesting how with all of the attention and drama surrounding Hamilton, Jenson’s been a bit more under the radar this season. But his excellent form is still being recognised, apparently.

    2. Using a spread analogy, Hamilton is marmite, a love or hate figure. Button is orange marmalade- some love him, most like him and but no one hates him. As we select who we support with a true or false, Button is on average more widely liked. Know what I mean?

  30. I’m kind of a Schumi fanboy to be honest. I started watching in 1996, when the Schumi/Ferrari era began, and he was like the hottest thing on F1 but always loosing the championship after fighting for it every year, seeing all the races when he was in a car that wasn’t the best and fighting for the championship till the end of the season every year made me realize how good he was, so when he won the 2000 championship after 4 years of trying, was one of the happiest days in my life, I loved the total domination years too cause I saw them as a reward for all the troubles of those years when he fought like a mad man for the title. I’m very aware of the things he accomplished as a F1 driver and in my opinion nobody would come close to what he has done in the sport. I “hated” Villeneuve, Hill, Hakkinen with passion at the time.
    Always loved the colors in Orange and Jordan cars, I’m from South America so never knew what Orange was but I thought their logo and cars were so cool and “hip”. Also a big fan of Heinz Harald Frenzen when he was in Jordan, Fissichella in Minardi/Jordan/Benetton and also liked Rubens Barrichello in his Stewart days.
    I don’t like this new Vettel’s domination and I don’t find it similar to Schumi’s days ’cause as I said before, I don’t think he earned the right to be that dominant, I know the car is the most important part of a driver to win a WDC but at least Schumi was fighting for it for 6 years (won the first two of course) before he had the best car in the field. I don’t like Hamilton at all, especially cause he didn’t start his f1 career in one of the lower tier teams, a fact that in my opinion will always hinder his ability to deal with the reality of having a car that can’t win, we’ve seen the effects of this since 2009. My second favorite driver after Schumi is Kimi Raikkonen another driver that in my opinon was really something different, strangely enough, I never “hated” him when he was fighting for the championship against Schumi. I liked Alonso when he was in Minardi, “hated” him in 2005-2006 obviously, but I think he is up there with Schumi and Kimi as one of the best drivers of the past decade and continues to be a very strong force in this one.

  31. It is strange how a very keen man as yourself didn’t mention that HUGE spike from 2006 to 2007 Kieth. :) Or you want us readers to highlight it first?

    Anyway I started watching the Schumacher Ferrari days. About 2001.

  32. Well, two of my current favourites are in the top 2, although the attitude I like KK for hasn’t been on display of late… I thought Michael would be at least in the top 5…

    Although, initially I felt hard pressed to say who I like of the current drivers, in spite of greater coverage (e.g. pre-podium lounge audio) there’s very little personality on display…

    But, another great article Keith… great insight …

    1. “top 3”

  33. Wow, I am the 99%, button fan, mclaren fan.

    Its a good thing i am also a NAHRAIN fan!

  34. I picked Liuzzi, Buemi, Trulli, Alguersuari, Massa, Perez, Barrichello, HRT and Toro Rosso (and other more popular choices). Proud to be in the minority!
    Out of me only other 8 people support Tonio! :(

  35. So…
    Joe Saward has nine F1F accounts?

  36. Lucas Alexander Munro
    5th November 2011, 15:52

    I started watching F1 at the last race of 2008.

    1. not a bad time to start

  37. well i guess it was to be expected that mclaren would be the most popular, nice to have an idea of how some incidents may be biased by people’s allegiances


  39. I marked myself down as having started following F1 in 1997, because of Jacques Villeneuve. I watched a bit before, but with races on so early in the morning from Canada, it was more just an excuse to spend time with my dad.

    But when I think about it, while I watched the races plenty back then, my interest waned for a few years before coming back in earnest around 2004.

  40. sid_prasher (@)
    5th November 2011, 18:02

    Reading this on the phone so I might be wrong but have others noticed the massive spike in 1994?
    A bit surprised that Ferrari is so far behind and schumi too. I think the driver leader board would look very different if past drivers were also added.
    Regarding the question of brit bias – I think that cannot be assumed. EPL is extremely popular in Asia for ex. Maybe its a language barrier of the site.
    Keith will know where all the fans of the site come from – will be an interesting chart :)

  41. Sheesh, I feel old looking at that “What year…” graphic. Heck I feel old every time Vettel talks about his carting and meeting Schumi. The current crop of drivers and very close championships in past few years though makes me not doubt that the sport has attracted lots of new fans. And it’s nice to see passing again, regardless of how its getting done.

  42. With my selections, I’m quite clearly in a majority (though I find that to be quite surprising)
    Fantastic to see Kovalainen being in so high position!

  43. I wanted to fill in my preferences but was not able, since Ronnie Peterson was not on the list of supported drivers. I realize that Ronnie is not going to win podiums and WCD points any more, but he still means more to me than any recent driver. I just wonder, if in the two lists (drivers, teams) there was a new option “I do not particularly care for any of the above, I just enjoy good racing”, how high would it place in the charts?

  44. I’m not British, but my support of F1 could well have been. I saw the last couple of races of 1991, and started watching in earnest in 1992. I inherited my support of Mansell from my brother and father (and followed him into Indycar in 1993 and 1994), and then adopted Damon Hill as my new hero in 1993.

    When Damon’s career came to an end, my interest in the sport started to wane, as there was not really one driver I wanted to win above all others. Schumacher’s domination in the early 2000s did nothing to increase my interest in F1, and some Sunday afternoons when I had other things to do, I might even have skipped some races.

    Then in 2007 Lewis Hamilton burst onto the scene and rekindled my interest in F1, culminating in my discovery of F1Fanatic during this year’s winter testing.

    I was also surprised to see Button as the most popular driver, and I think there are two reasons to contribute to this:
    1. His recent upturn of form, obviously
    2. The fact that he is an eminently likeable guy; many people who list a number of supported drivers, often have Jenson among them. Lewis also has a strong following, but there are also a lot of people who dislikehim.

    1. @adrianmorse I both love and hate your avatar. Excellent re-creation of what I consider a black mark on the face of an extremely talented driver.

  45. I didn’t select neither a driver nor a team when editing my profile.

    Aside from it being evident, I sorta shy away from fanboyish tendencies, which probably doesn’t sound evident. But the vast majority of my replies are not about Alonso.

    I suggest that the same vein we rate Jean Todt’s approval ratings every so often, we do the same for drivers and teams. I used to keep a rolling Word .doc of the rankings of F1 drivers, per personal taste and opinion. It can vary even among myself.

  46. Isn´t Heidfeld missing from the fave drivers list? I mean don´t get me wrong i am not a big fan of his, but if Narain, Pedro, Karun and Robert are up there than he should be too…

    1. It’s only active drivers. So if Heidi gets a seat next year, you will be able to add him :-P (Same for Kimi, Vergne, Wickens, Grosjean, …)

  47. The viewer spike in 2007 would be largely due to Hamilton and he deserves recognition for bringinh a lot of people back to the sport. Love hime or hate him i believe he gave F1 a big boost when he came in. I see him in the same light a Tiger Woods whomis credited with a huge boost in golf support and new club memberships around the world.

    I started viewing the year before AJ won the WDC and in Australia you had to be a an insomniac to follow ever race.

  48. Wow. I know it’s a British ran site and all that, people have gone on about it plenty of times before…but that Jenson Button stat is astounding.

    Good on Kobayashi!

    1. I think Button personality, makes him the people favourite for many reasons. I think that many people that voted on other drivers must have voted on Button cause its hard not to respect a guy that speaks honestly acts honestly and works honestly.

  49. What i’ve been saying for some years at this website is finnally confirmed there are more Mclaren fans than the rest by an huge margin some poll results also back that out, Its not a surprise, Mclaren is the most successfull team in F1 during our lifes, the victories the drivers and the controversies theres no doubt that Mclaren is one of the pilars of F1, personally im just an opposite guy so I chose Ferrari to be my team, quite unusual for a brit but great rivalry.

    Obs. People may have confused Lotus and Renault some in protest or denial.

  50. Loving Webber in 5th. Carrrn Webbbbbbahhhh

  51. I’m very pleased to see Button #1. As others have pointed out, since being thrust “back into the limelight” in 2009 he’s shown some blinding talent, great races, maturity, good humour, professionalism, humanity and integrity. Yes he complains about mysterious missing grip or “front locking” in qualifying, but we all know that’s to cover his jumpy nerves – it’s not the sort of petulant whining you get from other drivers, and he doesn’t berate the team. He is a tough competitor without being a cheat or a hothead, he can run a clinical, Prost-like win where he not only knows the state of his own race, but works out what his rivals are doing and factors that in too. Equally, he can storm through the field and overtake with the best of them. He won a world championship when someone else had the fastest car overall, and had plenty of years in crap equipment which encourages those who like an underdog.

    If you had to pick a man who reminded you of the great british drivers of the 60’s like Clark, Hill, Surtees or Stewart, or the “real men” of racing from times gone by, I think he’s the only man on the grid today you’d choose.

    1. According to an interview mentioned in the Sun, Jenson is not that cool, calm and collected.
      Appears that Lewis’s popularity is getting him down, and Lewis being considered the “under performer”.

      For the record I am a Maclaren fan, I quite enjoy Jenson’s race craft, even if a little too reserved at times.
      Just feel that if the comments are true, where is his team spirit?

      1. The only media to report that story are the sun and the mirror, the Sun are rehashing the mirror, and Byron young from the mirror hasn’t given any indication when or to whom button supposedly said this to, and has refused to respond to requests for clarification. Both papers are full of worthless lies a lot of the time.

  52. Now hold on a minute. Am I missing something? How do we vote on our “favourite” driver? Is this a tally from the “Driver of the weekend”?

    I’ve always considered these two different things. I might love Kovalainen, but think Vettel did best over a weekend, for instance. For DOTW I always vote for the diver who I think did best, not the one I like the most. How does everyone else do it? Just vote for your favourite every race?

    1. “You can change your selections at any time. Just log in and go to go to My Account > Profile > Edit > F1 teams and drivers.”

  53. i would have liked to seen this prior to the 2011 season. my guess: hamilton by a ton.

    1. What year you started watching F1

      what i observe is “drama sells” but not reflecting the senna/prost era. periods of schumacher and vettel domination are bad for business.

      a request:
      could the “number of f1fanatics” mouse-over boxes include the year?

      the chart’s line seems to come in random colors?

      i started watching in 1985. and hello to our fans from the 50’s and 60’s!

  54. Webber got me into F1 in ’02 (more like a casual fan) and I became a hardcore never-miss-a-race fan when he jumped in a red bull in ’07. So it’s obvious he’s my favourite, there’s no better sight than a fired up Mark destroying the field, which unfortunately has been completely missing this year. But I break it down like this; I love watching Vettel’s qualifying laps, I love watching Alonso’s racecraft, I love watching Button’s ability to think out a race, and I love watching Schumi battle his way up the field. I just enjoy watching all of them (except Hamilton, and that’s due to an attitude problem more than anything else).

  55. I’ve been watching since the early 80’s and have gone through phases supporting various teams and drivers. These days though I don’t support one driver or one team over any other, I simply support the sport itself. 90% of the time I genuinely don’t mind who wins a race, and I don’t really mind who wins either of the championships. Maybe I’m just getting old :)

    1. More or less the way I feel these days except in the old days the “villain” to boo and hiss at was MSC and now we have a new one in our house.

  56. Keith,

    Its probably been asked here elsewhere but how a legends section of profiles where people can pick their favourite F1 drivers of the past

  57. I’ve been a Ferrari fan since 1993, but I’ve really been losing the faith these last two years.

    Alonso is an exceptional driver, but seems kind of obnoxious. Scandal follows him around like a bad smell. Massa is too often an embarrassment now: he’s been a loyal servant for many years, but I don’t really know what he is doing in a Ferrari.

    The cars haven’t been the same since Rory Byrne left. The team seems to be going back to its years of underperforming. The cars are not even as beautiful as they used to be: the ugly Santander logos everywhere are a travesty.

    So I don’t really know who to support any more. Ferrari has to sort itself out.

  58. sid_prasher (@)
    6th November 2011, 13:16


    Just thinking – can we have charts open in a new page so that they can spread out a bit more? will make them easier to read…

    1. sid_prasher (@)
      6th November 2011, 13:19

      I mean these line charts…

    AM I too late ?? Thanks.

    1. You can add what kind of motorsports you follow and what drivers/teams you support into your profile, as @aced explains above

      But its now too late for this analyses, but we can count on Keith to have a look at them in the future again (and you can look at others supporting the same yourself!)

  60. It’s ok. I’ve worked how to vote now. I support Mercedes. I also like Mark Webber and Di Resta and Chandhok.

  61. What about an all time list? Surely Button wouldn’t be on top if there was the likes of Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Mika Hakkienen etc to be chosen from.

  62. Anyway, started watching F1 in 85 – when Senna was in the JPS, and Australian GP returned – which was won by Keke. In the latter years, Senna’s qualifying on-board cam in Adelaide was simply stunning. The visual effect of the vibration running through the car was amazing – it made the on-board of today look far too easy. Followed F1 intensely until 1994 when Senna died, but got back into it when the Australian GP was moved to Melbourne in ’96 – where I was given free tickets to the start/finish grand stand.

  63. I started watching F1 in the mid 60’s. I quickly developed a huge respect for the drivers of those small fragile cars with the skinny tires. Circuits with trees at the edges and fans separated by maybe a fence in the corners. There wasn’t a lot of room for error and I feel they raced one another with a level of respect that has somehow gone missing in today’s field.

  64. Webber & Button are good drivers that drove crap cars when they were at their peak, however Button got the championship he deserved and Webber should have had it last year if the team supported him.

    Button, Massa & Barrichello are likeable drivers that make few enemies.

    Vettel has been the best driver this year but definitely didn’t deserve championship last year with his spoilt child attitude and crashing into all the top drivers.

    Kobayashi showed a lot of potential and is well liked but you have to admit he has been a little quiet this year to the point Perez is looking a lit bit better.

    So glad Schuie is back so his stats and averages can look more like they should have been.

    Alonso is still good to watch making a race out of a crap car, and lets face it, despite liking or hating Hamilton he has been the most entertaining driver to watch this year in a year of boring domintaion from Vettel.

    At least Hamilton still races despite the outome, it’s not like he’s affected the championship results. Well done for entertaining racing.

    Ricciardo needs to be in a top team to show what he is made of.

    1. Webber & Button are good drivers that drove crap cars when they were at their peak, however Button got the championship he deserved and Webber should have had it last year if the team supported him.

      Button got his championship in 2009 because he won the most races and made very few mistakes.

      Webber lost the championship because he won less races than Alonso and Vettel, made multiple errors, and couldn’t beat Vettel despite insane luck with reliability.

      Vettel has been the best driver this year but definitely didn’t deserve championship last year with his spoilt child attitude and crashing into all the top drivers.

      He crashed what, twice in 2010, which was actually less times than his teammate, and came from behind to win it despite losing three wins because of his faulty car.

  65. Considering Hamilton’s mistakes this season, it is in fact very telling on the real magnitutde of his fan base to see him 2nd. And yes, of course this site is inclined towards British fans so it is not a very true reflection.

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